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Why is the snow melting on the roads – It's only 7 degrees

Look At That Water Ready To Refreeze
Posted at 2:49 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 15:49:39-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The ice and snow melted off the roads despite it being only 7 degrees this afternoon. And, there are icicles dripping as well. What is going on?

It Will Refreeze Tonight

It is fascinating seeing all of the melted ice and snow on area streets, as you can see here on the Country Club Plaza. Here is the interesting process that we experienced today.

We had 100% sunshine today with a crystal blue sky. It felt great outside. The streets were coated in ice and snow earlier today, but when the sun came out, its energy melted the snow and ice on black top surfaces due to its energy absorption raising the actual temperature to above its melting point. Even though it is 7 degrees outside, the temperature on the black top surfaces actually rose to above 32°. The air temperature that shows 7 degrees is a reading taken 5 feet above the ground. It is still 7 degrees up at face level, but not just five feet below you.

Look At That Water Ready To Refreeze

I snapped this picture on the way to work. Look at the wave of liquid water. It is so cold, that as soon as the sun starts setting, that water will refreeze very fast. It will cause many tricky areas of ice on roads and other surfaces where we had snow and ice melt today.

The same thing is happening on buildings, and icicles are forming. As the sun sets, these icicles will freeze within 30 minutes to an hour, and some of the icicles might get rather large.

If you have any cool pictures, please share them with us. Snow is heading our way by sunrise tomorrow and that will accumulate on top of the freezing that is about to happen this evening. Really pay close attention as you are walking around or taking the dogs for a walk, as slips and falls are likely with this developing situation.

Stay with 41 Action News, and we'll keep you advised.